Top Ten

May 11, 2009

Man dies after jumping from uWinnipeg residence

A 23-year-old man died Sunday evening after jumping from scaffolding at the McFeetors Hall: Great-West Life Student Residence at the University of Winnipeg. The deceased was at the centre of a 7-hour-long standoff with police. Witnesses say the man had walked around various levels of the scaffolding before heading to the south side of the building and removing planks to cut himself off from police, who had tried to persuade him to come down. Winnipeg Sun

US man, investigated in Carleton student's suicide, admits to coaching people to kill themselves

An American male nurse being investigated in connection with last year's suicide of Carleton University student Nadia Kajouji has admitted to persuading 5 people to kill themselves. An affidavit alleges that Minnesota native William Melchert-Dinkel trolled suicide chat rooms under various aliases and encouraged individuals to join him in suicide pacts. It's not clear if Kajouji is among the 5 whose suicide Melchert-Dinkel allegedly admitted to encouraging, although police believe that is the case. Globe and Mail | Ottawa Citizen

UQAM support, professional staff plan walkout

2 weeks after professors and full-time language instructors from the Université du Québec à Montréal returned to work after a strike, the university's support and professional staff have scheduled a walkout on Wednesday for the day, pending a government decree to force them to stay on the job. The 2,000 employees have not had a contract since May 31, 2007. Montreal Gazette

Infrastructure funding for Alberta colleges announced

Last week we reported on the University of Alberta receiving funding for infrastructure projects as part of Ottawa's $2-billion Knowledge Infrastructure Program. Further funding awarded includes over $17 million for Mount Royal College's Nursing Simulation Lab and Science and Technology Wing expansion, $13 million for upgrades and an Alternative Energy Centre at the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, and $5.5 million for Lethbridge College to renovate its technology building. RDC News Release | NAIT News Release | Calgary Herald | Edmonton Journal | Lethbridge Herald | Medicine Hat News

$6-million deficit at uSask

The University of Saskatchewan's 2009-10 budget includes a $6-million operating deficit, which administrators hope to reduce to $1 million before the end of this month. Starting next year, uSask will need to redirect at least $10 million annually towards rebuilding the school's devalued investments, endowments, and pension fund. College and school heads are being asked to make adjustments to their budgets. The university will also look at cutting utility costs and possibly eliminating some jobs through attrition. Saskatoon Star-Phoenix

uVic cancels some student award payouts

Investment losses at the University of Victoria have forced the university to cancel bursary and scholarship payments from 40% of uVic Foundation endowment funds. While the university cannot confirm how many students will be affected, it's estimated to be in the hundreds. Annual return on investments used to pay student awards has dropped over 18%. Earlier this year, the Research Universities' Council of BC asked the provincial government for $20 million in short-term relief for endowment funds affected by the economic downturn. Victoria Times-Colonist

Boréal expands presence in southwestern Ontario

In a bid to boost the quality of higher education offerings and access to French education in southwestern Ontario, Collège Boréal has purchased Place Concorde, a francophone community centre based in Windsor. Through this acquisition, the college is poised to deliver more PSE, apprenticeship, and training programs in the region. In partnership with the Conseil scolaire de district des écoles catholiques du Sud-Ouest and the Centre communitaire de Windsor Essex Kent Inc., Boréal will facilitate the growth of employment and immigration services in Windsor. Boréal News Release

St. Clair College pitches $54-million worth of infrastructure projects

Last Friday, St. Clair College put in its bid for federal economic stimulus funding, pitching 2 major projects totalling $54 million. The college is proposing a $40-million applied health sciences centre to be built at its south campus, as well as a $14-million "health plex," which is the focus of a capital campaign launched last fall. The government is expected to announce successful bids in June. Windsor Star

5 Vancouver Island schools form research alliance

Last month, the University of Victoria, Royal Roads University, Camosun College, Vancouver Island University, and North Island College entered into an agreement to establish the Vancouver Island Community Research Alliance. Under a memorandum of understanding, the 5 institutions will identify research issues with an island-wide focus and members of the community who can assist in such research. uVic Ring

Blackboard to purchase ANGEL Learning

Course-management software firm Blackboard Inc. announced last Wednesday an agreement to acquire ANGEL Learning Inc. for approximately $95 million. In the short term, the combined company will continue to sell ANGEL Learning's software as a separate product, while in the future the best features of ANGEL will be folded into Blackboard software. The deal is expected to close at the end of the month. Blackboard News Release | Washington Post | The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required)